Living Life Purposefully

Where Purpose Meets Passion

Tag Archives: Relationships

Affection or Desire

This post has been one that’s weighed heavily on me for a few months. When I thought of it initially, I chose not to write about it because I didn’t want it to be mistaken for a vent session or a rant. Then I chose not to share my thoughts on this because I didn’t want readers to think of me as the “bitter” type. Then…well, then there was always a reason to NOT write this.

And yet…it continued to nag me. So here I am writing about my trouble with dating on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 12:53 am.

dating image

For me, dating has always been an awkward experience. As a matter of fact, I feel out of my element in traditional date settings (let me say here that I am an introvert and I consider alone time my fun time). Dates are the time you feel out a person and you start to understand whether there is something there. Am I right? I mean, why else would you date them?

My problem is that I’m different. By different, I mean I am a bit of an old-fashioned, romantic at heart. I appreciate the art of courting and being courted. However, it seems that guys in my generation (maybe?) approach dating in a very different way. The problem? Many have confused affection and desire.

Desire is just that – a longing or a need. The crazy thing about longings and needs are that anyone can fulfill them as long as minimum requirements are met. Affection on the other hand speaks to your fondness, warmth and endearment towards a person.

Guys who approach women make no qualms about their desire for us, which can be a good thing. Scratch that – it is a good thing. Every woman wants to feel desired by her man BUT when this desire takes place in the absence of affection, it can be problematic. For me, conversations I’ve entertained with the last three guys fizzled pretty weirdly and I’ve always read this as “we were saying the same thing with dramatically different intentions.” These interactions have left me wondering if it’s me…and if I’m doing this whole “dating” thing right?

For me, if I’ve entertained the idea of going on a date with a man, I’ve possibly entertained the idea of being his girlfriend (whatever that means today). If anything, I just want people to really understand that it’s one thing to desire a woman and it’s a completely different thing to have affection for a woman. Women don’t want to just be desired but we want that desire to take place in the space where affection exists. The last thing we want to realize (rather foolishly) is that we’re just someone’s backup when nothing else goes as planned on Friday night.

Then again, this could just be a result a young child head-butting me in my breast, a homeless man buying me a muffin the other morning and an older gentleman at church asking me if I cook well. Panic is setting in because that’s the most serious “play” I’ve gotten in 17 months.


Why Men Should Stop Complaining About the Friend Zone

Alternate title: “It Could Be a LOT Worse, My Dude.”

Last night, I was spacing out in front of the tv watching one of my favorite shows on HGTV (Income Property). I love this show for the information it shares on income properties and being a landlord. I just wanted to share that so y’all didn’t think I was just…not doing anything.

Since I’m unemployed still.

Anywho…I’m watching this channel when one of my favorite commercials comes on – the one with the m&ms at the party.

“Watch out for the chocolate crazed maniac. She will devour you!”

Seriously, some good comedy there. Much better than SNL (don’t argue with me here because I’m right). But I got to thinking, “Geez! That red m&m has been Friend Zoned so hard and you don’t see him complain.”

I laughed and then said I was on to something.

Now this post is called why men shouldn’t complain but it is for EVERYONE! I just did that because I wanted more hits to my blog (thanks Google). It sucks being friend zoned. I know this from personal experience. I can’t really think of something that sucks more. Oh wait? Yes I can – homelessness, a credit score in the 500s, unemployment, chronic illnesses, etc.

I digress because you get the point.

But really I just want people to stop lamenting about being stuck in a Friend Zone. Because you could one day finding yourself smelling like a chocolate anything and being stuck in a small space with a chocolate loving maniac.

And I’m sure that won’t end well for at least one of you.

Single Black Female: Is Something Wrong With You? (#31WriteNow)

NOTE: This was a private post written in 2010. Funny…it still applies even though I’m 27. I decided to update it and share it with some of my more current thoughts (in italics).


I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard that question or how often I’ve heard it hidden within some other backwards compliment, but I hear it often. It’s now to the point where I change subjects rather skillfully (if I’m up to the challenge) or I forget all of my Southern upbringing and charm classes and cuss someone out.

Yes, I’m single. Yes, I’m a Black woman. No, there is nothing wrong with me.

I understand why people become so up in arms when I take the opportunity to describe myself. It usually goes something like this:

“Oh, I’m 23 (now 27). I have my BS and MA. I hope to go on for my PhD. I want to work in Education (the policy/administration side…not teaching). I hope to…” and so forth and so on. However, in taking the time to describe myself I face these questions later:

1. Do you have a boyfriend/Are you courting? No./No.

2. Why don’t you have a boyfriend? I don’t leave my house? I don’t know.

3. What are you going to do with all that education? Use it.

4. Don’t you know a woman’s place? Yes. It’s her address right?

(Updated Note: I’m probably single because I have a smart mouth and unintentional snark.)

Wait…whoa…what in the fudge sticks?!?!

You see, when I get around family and this topic is always brought up, I’m left feeling like an outcast. Of most of my cousins from 15-26 that identify as a “woman,” I’m one of TWO that are single/uncoupled (three years later and it still applies). That can be a self-esteem killer, and until recently, it was.

I had an interesting conversation with a Sista of mine. She posed the two questions: “What are 10 ways a man could charm you?” “What are 10 ways a man trying to charm you would annoy you?” I gave her my reasons and quite honestly, it was an eye-opener for me (I’m actually going to answer these questions for myself again). The more that I thought about it, the more I thought about how these things impact my “dating” life. I mean, it’s really hard to walk around as a young, seemingly successful, Black woman who is single AND remain confident in yourself when there are so many things out there telling you why you’re still a failure. There are “experts” who release books on why Black women can’t get, keep, and marry a (Black) man. There are nightly “specials” that devote time to harp on the connections we make with each other, our accolades, and then pose the question (usually by non-Black people) why can’t we find, keep, and marry a (successful Black) man. (Sidenote: HA! I’m watching One-On-One and would you know, this is an episode about how a successful Black woman has managed to step on a Black man’s ego and that’s why she lost him).

I say one thing to these specials and experts:

Spare me the story of the tragic Black woman that happens to be successful and goes to sleep alone at night because she can’t find a successful Black man. And here’s why.

I’m 23 (now 27). I’m (still) being told that I need to start looking for a man. I need to settle down and have some babies (okay…now I want to. Then I wasn’t ready). That’s great. It’d be nice if I weren’t alone (if only it would cut down the chatter at my family reunions) and it’d be nice if I knew of multiple successful Black men aged 22-27 (let’s move this on up to 27-33-ish or something) looking to settle down. The fact is, they aren’t. MEN MY AGE ARE NOT LOOKING TO SETTLE DOWN (hmmm…this isn’t true so much anymore cuz I’m older now). Besides the countless male friends that I have (okay, 6 so as not to sound like a floozy), I also have 5 brothers that were raised by BOTH parents to play the field and put women through the wringer before they put a ring on anything.

So yes, I’m single. Yes, I’m Black. Yes, I’m a woman.

And there is nothing wrong with me….. I still want a boo though. LOL

On the Topic of Intimacy*

Actually, this post is about just facing feelings about another person head on.

Today, I might have made the mistake of saying the wrong thing…or rather the right thing in the wrong way. If you know me, then you know that I’m a thinker. And by “thinker,” I really mean I mull things over until I scare myself so badly that I never bring them up. In my new phase of “I’ma Grown Woman” (thanks Beyonce’), I’m trying this honesty thing in a major way and this means being really REAL about how I feel and what I think and how I wish for others to treat me. All of that good stuff.

Well, yesterday someone asked me a few questions and at first, I was cool with answering them. But the more I thought about it, the more agitated I became. Now, to be clear, I wasn’t agitated that the person asked me the questions; I was agitated at my thoughts around “why?” and “what does this mean?” The more I thought about it, the more intense my migraine became until finally, I gave up on thinking about it. Or so I thought.

Later on, after an intense challenge of successfully killing a cricket that decided to take residence in MY bathroom sink, I finally fell asleep. Unfortunately for me, my feelings decided to make themselves known through my dreams in a majorly uncomfortable way. As I sit and reflect now, I realize that my agitation wasn’t really about the questions but I’m at a point where my actions have to finally match the things that I’ve said I want in life. The one thing I’ve started to ask for but haven’t really acted upon is a relationship.


That was really…a little dramatic for this….but that’s exactly how it felt in the dream. Why? There was a conversation (that I won’t rehash here) and something was immediately brought to my attention — this isn’t an issue with that person or even the questions.

This is all about my issue with intimacy.

That word scares the living crap out of me. It brings to the forefront all of the fears that I have about other people and allowing them space in my life. But more than that, it brings up the fear that others will let me down (HA! And it only took me roughly 14 hours and a very awkward conversation to come to this particular conclusion). I asked the question “What if?” earlier and I realized that I never actually looked up the word intimacy. After I did (close familiarity or friendship; and a private cozy atmosphere), I really began to understand my apprehension around this whole topic…or action (look I don’t even know what to call it). As I sit here writing this, I’m almost afraid of what admitting this will actually mean because now I have to behave differently (I sorta want to give my Grown Woman card back now).

I guess the lesson here is that I don’t have to throw caution to the wind but the “same old, same old” is not going to get me the awesome life I’ve dreamed for myself. *deep sigh* I’ll just have to see where all of these newfound revelations take me.

He’s A Good Man: Commentary on the Villainization of “Homewreckers”

Lately, there has been a barrage of stories of homewreckers (those of the famous persuasion) and their conquests of taking “other women’s husbands.” Is this a new trend? Something that has become more popular? The “in thing” to do? I’m not sure what is going on but I know that I don’t like it.

I read in the news yesterday of an accidental overdose of sleep aids and pain relievers of a very talented singer (read: alleged attempted suicide) and I was disturbed by the response to this news. This songstress has been called everything that people can think to call a woman who “goes after” another woman’s husband. I don’t agree with her behavior…but I disagree even more with the response that the general public (read: Black folk) has given to the situation. This led me to post the following status on Facebook:

“[Miss C. Jayne] really wants to know what’s up with the villainization of the “homewrecker”? Why harp on the women who sleep with the MARRIED men? I don’t get it…so someone explain it to me. Thanks.”

For people that know me, they understood that I already had my own opinion, I just wanted to see what others said (before I came to share my thoughts on the topic). I was genuinely surprised by one answer:

“I think wives feel as though the “homewrecker” has disrespected her as a woman by entertaining the attention of a husband. Whether the marriage is broken or not, the argument is that as women we should respect each other enough to leave a man who is “taken” alone until he has chosen to end his current relationship. It speaks to the idea of community among women, and assumes that men can’t control their actions so women have to control their own.” – C.P.

This was the ONLY answer that I wasn’t expecting (in hindsight, as someone that harps on the fact that Black women are responsible for the behaviors of an entire ethnic group, I should have seen this coming). Why? It delved into the intricate issues of communicating and relating to others within the Black community (which is another post for another day). Other responses (which were kind of comical) included:

– “What if the home was already wrecked? What does that make the homewrecker?”

– “These women are just the clean up woman.”

– “It’s society. That’s why James Brown wrote ‘This is a man’s world’…men can do what they want and women always get the bad rep.”

– Two people voiced that it doesn’t matter. Every wrongdoer in the situation deserves to have their ass kicked.

All valid points but here is why I think men don’t get the bad rep (especially in the Black community):

The men who are brave enough to marry are examples of “Good Men.” If he had no kids before he said, “I do!” then he is an even better man. And don’t let him have a job! He is the Holy Grail, the Chosen One, the 1 in a Million Love of a Lifetime that every Black woman holds out for.

Why do you say that Miss C. Jayne?

Simple – as a Black woman, I’ve engaged in many conversations with my peers (women and men alike) about what makes the perfect mate. There must be a willingness to commit, a drive to succeed at something in life, a relationship with God, and yadda yadda yadda. The list goes on but those are the “Big Three.”

So why villainize the unmarried women who sleep with Married Men and NOT the married men that sleep with Single Women? Whoa! Changes the focus doesn’t it? Who is really at fault when a man steps out on his wife?

1. The woman who used “every trick in the book” to entice him to come her way?

2. The woman who took a vow to have and to hold for better or for worse til death do them ‘part?

3. The man who pissed on his sacrament with God AND his Wife to go ahead and frolick in temptation with that single woman who is looking for her perfect mate?

My money is on number 3. Why? Well…because he’s the married guy with the wife and possible kids who is also sleeping with the single woman (this isn’t to say that there are some women who don’t go after married men, I’m not talking about them). But he doesn’t get blamed.

To blame him for his own actions is to treat him as an adult. It’s to acknowledge that he does, in fact, have control over his actions. It’s to admit that he thought of the possible consequences and decided that the affair was something he wanted to participate in. It’s to hold him accountable.

But what does it do for women (and this is where I think the issue truly lies)?

If we say that the Married Men who cheat were enticed by those loosey goosey single women, then it affirms that there are some good men still out there. In this day and age, it seems that women are settling for whatever comes their way. Oh, he has a job? He has 0, 1, 0r 2 kids? He believes in the existence of God and claims to have a relationship with said deity? He can read? He has entreprenuerial skills? That’s everything you’ve ever looked for in a man. He’s the dream. You’ve got him.

And we he decides to say “Yes” or “I do” or whatever at the altar in front of a Preacher and a host of witnesses, then you signal to your single girlfriends (who are probably 80% of your bridesmaids) that yes, they do exist!!! They are real! Good men are out there.

By shifting the blame from the truly guilty party, it continues to give hope to other single (especially Black) women.

And that’s really what all of this is about — allowing single, Black, successful women the freedom to dream.


~Miss C. Jayne

*UPDATE: While I don’t want to get into the nuances of a certain singer’s suicide attempt (that was not the intention of this post), I’ll just point out a very thoughtful commentary that I agree with. You can find it here.